Tuesday, December 30, 2008


My friend Oleg and I decided to go to Hawaii over part of the Christmas break. Since Oleg came to the United States a year an a half ago, he mentions Hawaii and New York City as the two places he really, really wants to visit inside the U.S.

Under normal circumstances (mortgage, bills, school, work) I would not consider going to Hawaii, but my situation was far from normal. First off, Oleg offered to cover the hotel as an extremely generous Christmas present. In addition, I have enough rewards points from my Wells Fargo Rewards visa credit card to purchase a free flight. These two items resulted in a free hotel, 'free' flight and a buddy to split the other expenses with. This series of fortunate events culminated in our trip to Ohau, or O Ľahu (depending on the character set you have available and if you care about the reverse apostrophe used in Hawaiian to signify emphasis on vowels.) Oleg really wanted to spend a lot of time in Honolulu, so our entire trip is based on the island of O'ahu.

Our day began a bit before we flew out at 6:00 a.m. Our flight instructions said to arrive at the airport 90 minutes early, so we did. Usually, I am not a big fan of super duper early rising, but Oleg managed to book the trip so we would spend the maximum amount of time in Hawaii with paying the least amount for hotels, which is very cool. We had a since transfer in San Fransisco, then about a five hour flight to Honolulu. During this flight, I attempted to sleep about three times but I was woken up repeatedly by a crying baby. Crying babies are the bane of all of my air travel experiences, but it is difficult to feel very negative when heading to Hawaii, so I just relaxed and tried not to worry about it.

Once we arrived in Hawaii, everything became more relaxed. The absolutely perfect weather, combined with the beautiful green landscape helped me chill out a bit. Below are a few pictures from our first day in Hawaii.

The above three images are from the Honolulu International Airport

Oleg's Favorite - Starbucks

Oleg really likes the super tall buildings

This is Oleg's bed (I have my own.)

This is the view from the walk way outside our hotel room.

This is the same walk way, facing the other direction.

This is our hotel lobby, at the "Park Shore Waikiki."

This image, and below are from Kalakua Ave. which is the main street in Waikiki.

This is me, after snorkeling outside our hotel. I have the traditional computer science student tan of "clear".

I think this tree looks especially cool, I had Oleg take a picture of it because I like it so much

This place has some all right deals. I bought some presents and decorations here.

Oleg likes the gold fish in the pond here. They are pretty big.

I thought it was interesting that many of the signs were in English and in Japanese.

This piece of artwork is entirely constructed from ceramic tile.

I don't think I was with Oleg for these pictures - I went to sleep and he kep

Oleg's night pictures came out really, really well in my opinion.

This was day one in Hawaii! Hopefully I will be able to make additional posts about the rest of our vacation, but I have been very busy enjoying the beach, snorkeling and generally relaxing. Thank you very much for reading about my vacation and looking at the pictures I have taken.